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[阅读] 2008年经济学人中英双语阅读:Martin Tytell 马丁•泰特尔 一位与打字机相爱的人









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发表于 2009-7-2 16:01 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

Martin Tytell, a man who loved typewriters, died on September 11th, aged 94

ANYONE who had dealings with manual typewriters—the past tense, sadly, is necessary—knew that they were not mere machines. Eased heavily from the box, they would sit on the desk with an air of expectancy, like a concert grand once the lid is raised. On older models the keys, metal-rimmed with white inlay, invited the user to play forceful concertos on them, while the silvery type-bars rose and fell chittering and whispering from their beds. Such sounds once filled the offices of the world, and Martin Tytell’s life.

Everything about a manual was sensual and tactile, from the careful placing of paper round the platen (which might be plump and soft or hard and dry, and was, Mr Tytell said, a typewriter’s heart) to the clicking whirr of the winding knob, the slight high conferred by a new, wet, Mylar ribbon and the feeding of it, with inkier and inkier fingers, through the twin black guides by the spool. Typewriters asked for effort and energy. They repaid it, on a good day, with the triumphant repeated ping! of the carriage return and the blithe sweep of the lever that inched the paper upwards.
手动的装置意味着感官上的喜悦,有细心地把纸装进压纸卷筒(有的又松又软,有的又硬又干,用泰特尔的话说,压纸卷筒是打字机的心脏),有紧手轮的嗡嗡声, 有新装的美拉色带及其油墨通过色带卷轴的两个黑色指示标记进行略带高亢的交谈。打字机要你精力十足。心情好时他们会报偿你,用连贯的回车声进行回报,用轻 快的转杆进行回报,转杆会把纸寸寸推进。

Typewriters knew things. Long before the word-processor actually stored information, many writers felt that their Remingtons, or Smith-Coronas, or Adlers contained the sum of their knowledge of eastern Europe, or the plot of their novel. A typewriter was a friend and collaborator whose sickness was catastrophe. To Mr Tytell, their last and most famous doctor and psychiatrist, typewriters also confessed their own histories. A notice on his door offered “Psychoanalysis for your typewriter, whether it’s frustrated, inhibited, schizoid, or what have you,” and he was as good as his word. He could draw from them, after a brief while of blue-eyed peering with screwdriver in hand, when they had left the factory, how they had been treated and with exactly what pressure their owner had hit the keys. He talked to them; and as, in his white coat, he visited the patients that lay in various states of dismemberment on the benches of his chock-full upstairs shop on Fulton Street, in Lower Manhattan, he was sure they chattered back.
打字机洞悉事态。早在文字处理器能存储信息之前,许多作家都感觉到他们的Remingtons、Smith-Coronas或Adlers打字机内存有他 们关于东欧的知识,存有他们小说的情节。打字机是朋友,又是伙伴,他要是生病了将是一场巨大的灾难。泰特尔是打字机最后也是最富盛名的内外科及精神病医 生,他们向泰特尔何倾述各自的人生。泰特尔的门上贴有一则通知“为阁下的打字机进行心理分析,分析他是否沮丧、抑郁亦或精神分裂”。这可不是吹牛。泰特尔 只要拿着螺丝刀用他的蓝眼睛对一台打字机看上一小会儿,他就能知道这台机器的出厂时间,随后的境遇,以及他的主人敲打键盘力度的大小。泰特尔身着白大褂, 在其满仓的楼上店铺里(位于曼哈顿福通大街)探访那些被不同程度肢解的“病人”时,与打字机聊着天,他确信这些打字机也在同他交谈。

A drawer of umlauts
His love affair had begun as a schoolboy, with an Underwood Five. It lay uncovered on a teacher’s desk, curved and sleek, the typebars modestly contained but the chrome lever gleaming. He took it gently apart, as far as he could fillet 3,200 pieces with his pocket tool, and each time attempted to get further. A repair man gave him lessons, until he was in demand all across New York. When he met his wife Pearl later, it was over typewriters. She wanted a Royal for her office; he persuaded her into a Remington, and then marriage. Pearl made another doctorly and expert presence in the shop, hovering behind the overflowing shelves where the convalescents slept in plastic shrouds.
泰特尔对打字机的爱恋始于学生时代。当是是一台Underwood Five打字机,就放在讲台上,线条优美,明净油亮,打印杆平静自然,铬钢杆闪闪发光。他用手头的工具温柔地把它拆开,有3,200个零件,每拆一个他都 有再进一步的企望。一位修理人员给他上了多次课,后来整个纽约都需要他。泰特尔与妻子Pearl 的相遇也是缘自打字机。Pearl 想为办公室配一台Royal 打字机,他说服她配了一台Remington,之后他们结婚了。

Mr Tytell could customise typewriters in all kinds of ways. He re-engineered them for the war-disabled and for railway stations, taking ten cents in the slot. With a nifty solder-gun and his small engraving lathe he could make an American typewriter speak 145 different tongues, from Russian to Homeric Greek. An idle gear, picked up for 45 cents on Canal Street, allowed him to make reverse carriages for right-to-left Arabic and Hebrew. He managed hieroglyphs, musical notation and the first cursive font, for Mamie Eisenhower, who had tired of writing out White House invitations.
泰特尔能用各种方式改装打字机。他能为因战致残的人及火车站进行改装打字机,每次收费10美分。只用一把好用的焊枪和一个小型的镌板机床,泰特尔就能让一 台美式打字机说145种不同的语言,从俄语到希腊语。他在Canal 大街花45美分买了一个惰轮,用来改装打字机,让其能从右向左写阿拉伯和希伯来文。泰特尔成功为Mamie Eisenhower进行设计,用打字机打出象形文字、乐谱和草书体,因为Mamie Eisenhower烦于手写白宫请柬。

When his shop closed in 2001, after 65 years of business, it held a stock of 2m pieces of type. Tilde “n”s alone took up a whole shelf. The writer Ian Frazier, visiting once to have his Olympia cured of a flagging “e”, was taken into a dark nest of metal cabinets by torchlight. There he was proudly shown a drawer of umlauts.
泰特尔的店铺2001年歇业,共营业65年,存有200万个类型的打字机。单是Tilde 的“n”系列就占了整整一个货架。作者伊恩•弗雷泽曾造访过一次,修理他的Olympia打字机,因为打字机不能打出字母“e”。点着火把,伊恩•弗雷泽 被带进一间装满金属陈列柜的黑屋子里。在那里,主人骄傲地向他展示一抽屉的元音变音符号。

Mr Tytell felt that he owed to typewriters not only his love and his earnings, but his life. In the second world war his knowledge of them had saved him from deploying with the marines. Instead he spent his war turning Siamese keyboards into 17 other Asian languages, or customising typewriters for future battlegrounds. His work sometimes incidentally informed him of military planning; but he kept quiet, and was rewarded in 1945 with a medal done up on a black, familiar ribbon.
泰特尔觉得,打字机不仅给予他爱恋与收入,还给了他生命。二战期间,因为他了解打字机,所以他不用参加海军作战,而是把打字机的暹罗语键盘改装成其他17 种亚洲语言的键盘,或者改装打字机供后续战争使用。有时由于工作他能获得一些军事方案,但他保持沉默,在1945年被授予一个由其熟知的黑色色带所悬挂的 勋章。

Each typewriter was, to him, an individual. Its soul, he reminded Mr Frazier, did not come through a cable in the wall, but lay within. It also had distinguishing marks—that dimple on the platen, that sluggishness in the typebars, that particular wear on the “G”, or the “t”—that would be left, like a fingerprint, on paper. Much of Mr Tytell’s work over the years was to examine typewritten documents for the FBI and the police. Once shown a letter, he could find the culprit machine.
对泰特尔来说,每台打字机都是独特的个体。他对弗雷泽说,打字机的灵魂不是来自墙上的电线,而是来自其内部。他们个性鲜明,有的是压纸卷筒笑靥如花,有的 是打印杆懒散懈怠。这些印迹就像手印一样,能显示在所打出的字母上,比如“G”或“t”,因此而留在纸上。多年以来,泰特尔的工作是为FBI和警察局检察 打印的文件。只要让他看一个字母,他就能找出哪台打字机是罪魁祸首。

It was therefore ironic that his most famous achievement was to build a typewriter at the request of the defence lawyers for Alger Hiss, who was accused in 1948 of spying for the Soviet Union. His lawyers wanted to prove that typewriters could be made exactly alike, in order to frame someone. Mr Tytell spent two years on the job, replicating, down to the merest spot and flaw, the Hiss Woodstock N230099. In effect, he made a perfect clone of it. But it was no help to Hiss’s appeal; for Mr Tytell still could not account for his typewriter’s politics, or its dreams.
因此,极具讽刺意味的是,泰特尔最著名的成就是应 Alger Hiss的辩护律师的请求制造一台打字机。1948年,Alger Hiss被指控是苏联的间谍,他的律师想证明打字机能够做得非常相像,用以诽谤某人。泰特尔花了两年时间,在考虑了各个细节后复制了Hiss Woodstock N230099。他的复制非常成功。但是这对Hiss的上诉没什么帮助。因为泰特尔不能描述其打字机的政治意愿,或者说其打字机的梦想。

[NOTES](英汉大词典 陆谷孙; Google)
1 inlay n.嵌体
2 type-bar n.打印杆
3 chitter v.(机器等)嗒嗒地响
4 bed n.(机器的)底座,底盘
5 platen n.(打字机上的)压纸卷筒
6 whirr n.呼呼声,嗡嗡声
7 ribbon n.色带
8 Guide 【印】指示标记
9 spool n.(打字机色带的)卷轴
10 carriage return 回车
11 blithe adj. 轻快的
12 psychiatrist n.精神科医生
13 inhibit v. 【医】抑制
14 schizoid adj. 精神分裂的
15 screwdriver n. 螺丝刀
16 Dismember vt. 拆开,使破碎
17 chock-full adj.满满的
18 Umlaut[语] n. 元音变化,曲音
19 Sleek adj. 油亮的,线条明快的
20 Chrome:铬钢,铬合金
21 Convalescent n. 恢复期病人
22 Shroud n.(护)罩
23 nifty adj.极好的,绝妙的
24 solder-gun n. 接焊器
25 engraving lathe n. 镌板机床
26 hieroglyph n.象形字
27 cursive font 草写体
28 clone n.副本,翻版
29 Ian Frazier伊恩•弗雷泽是《纽约人》的撰稿人,著有小说及散文多种

[ 本帖最后由 anyway02 于 2009-7-2 16:06 编辑 ]

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